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independence day reading

Thoughts on Independence Day – 2018

independence day reading

Summer is upon us, and with July 4th approaching I encourage you to share the following reading with your friends and family on July 4th.  It is a poem in the form of a letter written by an aging New England father when he learns that his only daughter has fallen in love with an Englishman.

 

I read this poem every year on Independence Day to remind me of those who fought for our country’s independence and to reinforce how fragile our hard earned freedom is to everyone of us in the United States of America.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER
BY ALICE DUER MILLER

‘So, Susan, my dear,’ the letter began, 
‘You’ve fallen in love with an Englishman. 
Well, they’re a manly, attractive lot, 
If you happen to like them, which I do not. 

I am a Yankee through and through, 
And I don’t like them, or the things they do. 
Whenever it’s come to a knock-down fight 
With us, they were wrong, and we right; 

If you don’t believe me, cast your mind 
Back over history, what do you find? 
They certainly had no justification 
For that maddening plan to impose taxation 
Without any form of representation. 

Your man may be all that a man should be,
Only don’t you bring him back to me
Saying he can’t get decent tea—

He could have got his tea all right
In Boston Harbour a certain night,
When your great-great-grandmother— also a Sue—
Shook enough tea from her husband’s shoe
To supply her house for a week or two.

The war of 1812 seems to me
About as just as a war could be.
How could we help but come to grips
With a nation that stopped and searched our ships,
And took off our seamen for no other reason
Except that they needed crews that season.

I can get angry still at the tale
Of their letting the Alabama sail,
And Palmerston being insolent
To Lincoln and Seward over the Trent.

All very long ago, you’ll say,
But whenever I go up Boston-way,
I drive through Concord—that neck of the wood, 
Where once the embattled farmers stood, 

And I think of Revere, and the old South Steeple, 
And I say, by heck, we’re the only people 
Who licked them not only once, but twice. 

Never forget it-that’s my advice. 
They have their points—they’re honest and brave,
Loyal and sure—as sure as the grave; 
They make other nations seem pale and flighty, 
But they do think England is god almighty, 

And you must remind them now and then 
That other countries breed other men. 
From all of which you will think me rather 
Unjust. I am. Your devoted Father. 

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Independence Day – 2018

  1. If England had not emancipated its slaves 100 years before our Civil War history shows they would have joined the south against the north. Great chance that would have changed history here in the states!

  2. I just completed a timely reading of “Killing England” by Bill O’Reilly. Excellent reading with new facts about the Revolutionary War 1775-1783 which will make you proud American. The book is dedicated to “all American history teachers past and present”. You will renew your appreciation of our great three founders,
    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. A must read for everyone who loves his country.

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